Sore throats can have several origins: irritation linked to too dry air, an allergic reaction. In winter, they are most often the consequence of infection like a common cold or a angina. In the vast majority of cases of viral origin, these pathologies generally progress to recovery in four to five days.
Yes … but in the meantime, pharyngeal symptoms are often very painful, going so far as to interfere with feeding in case of difficult swallowing. Positive point, local treatments, lozenges or mouthwashes (sprays) quickly calm the pain. Indeed, they release their assets directly on the painful area. They are used over a period of five days maximum.
Many of these formulas are contraindicated for children under 6 years old. Check carefully before use.
What to do when the pain is moderate?
In cases of illness of infectious origin, the most common, the throat can be disinfected with a antiseptic, conventional or natural. The first family is sometimes criticized because it is not certain that it accelerates healing while stinging reactions or burning sensations are rare, but possible. However, these products provide relief.
The propolis with its well-demonstrated antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and plants (extracts of sage, thyme and Scots pine and essential oils thyme, oregano and eucalyptus).
Their disadvantages? Propolis should be avoided in cases of allergic conditions in general. Plants are not recommended during pregnancy as well as before 6 or 7 years for essential oils.
What to do when the pain is severe?
We put on local anesthetics. Often associated with antiseptics, they numb the mucous membranes, hence a good pain relieving effect. This action is quite short, about 30 minutes, but sufficient to interfere with swallowing during this time and to be able to induce false routes. They are therefore contraindicated before 6 years or even 12 years.
What if the throat is sore?
We opt for softening plants (mallow, marshmallow …), from erasers or large sugars (polysaccharides) of plant origin. These products form a barrier film which lubricates and protects the pharyngeal mucosa from irritants: bacteria, viruses but also pollutants or allergens. They soothe sore throats, whatever their origin, or even an associated cough.
Additional benefit: they can be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Sore throat lozenges, mouthwashes or syrups?
- Practices, lozenges and the sucking gums have the advantage of gradually releasing the active ingredients. In addition, the sucking action stimulates the secretion of saliva. This helps fight infection, since saliva contains anti-infective agents like lysozyme, and soothes pain by lubricating inflamed mucous membranes.
- The mouthwashes are less discreet to use, but instantly coat the tonsils and pharyngeal tract (s) with active principle (s), resulting in faster relief. Some may even be suitable before 6 years. Remember to shake the bottles of mouthwash before spraying.
- Another possibility, the form syrup which allows a rapid lubricating action of the back throat also relieving the cough. But mouthwash like syrup, their effect is quite brief.
We do not take no nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen) as they can make the infection worse. If necessary, paracetamol is used.
When to see a sore throat?
- if the sore throat gets worse despite symptomatic treatment,
- if the pharyngeal pain is severe,
- in case of high fever (over 38 ° C),
- or if we feel lymph nodes in the neck.
These situations may lead the doctor to perform a rapid diagnostic test (RDT) which, if positive, reveals bacterial angina and warrants antibiotic treatment.
Six self-medication for sore throats
Strepsils sugar free lozenges
- Reckitt Benckiser Laboratory.
- Between 5.50 and 6 € approximately the box of 24 lozenges without sugar (lemon or strawberry).
- Combines two antiseptics, amylmetacresol and dichlorobenzyl alcohol.
- From 6 years old, in case of moderate sore throat of infectious origin.
The pharmacist’s opinion: a good formula, generally well tolerated, for the most common sore throats. However, limit the processing to 4-5 days so as not to destabilize the microbial flora in the mouth.
Oropolis lozenges without sugars
- Mediflor Laboratory (Merck).
- Around € 6 for a box of 20 sugar-free lozenges.
- Pastilles composed only of propolis, different flavors: honey-lemon, orange, mint-eucalyptus, and without sugar. A formula free from plants and essential oils.
- From 6 years old, in case of mild sore throat of infectious origin or linked to overwork of the vocal cords. No use in case of allergy to bee products or pollens or in case of asthma.
The pharmacist’s opinion: a pleasant reference to use which is suitable for those who do not appreciate the taste of plants, often associated with propolis. She does not contain alcohol, unlike propolis-based mouthwashes which often contain it.
Arkovox sore throat tablet to suck
- Arkopharma Laboratories.
- Between 7 and 8 € the box of 20 tablets to suck.
- They release components that lubricate and protect the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat: arabic gum and tara gum, myrrh, hyaluronic acid and honey, lemon honey and eucalyptus mint. Presence of a little sugar.
- From 6 years old, whatever the origin of the sore throat (infectious, allergic …) to soothe irritation or a moderate cough. Possible use in case of pregnancy or breastfeeding.
The pharmacist’s opinion: a simple and natural formula in an original galenic to try if one finds the action of the other products too short. To take away from meals or drinks so as not to interfere with the “barrier” effect.
Humex sore throat
- Urgo Laboratories.
- Around € 5 for a 35 ml mouthwash.
- This mouthwash combines an antiseptic, benzalkonium, and a local anesthetic, lidocaine. A pleasant lemon taste, without sugar or alcohol among the excipients.
- From 6 years old, but with caution before 12 years old because of the local anesthetic, to quickly relieve intense or bothersome sore throats. not for use in swallowing disorders.
The pharmacist’s opinion: a plus, the absence of alcohol commonly used in mouthwashes, sometimes even in those intended for children. Pay attention to do not eat or drink within 30 minutes of taking.
Pharyndol spray adult
- Pediact Laboratories.
- Around € 8 for a 30 ml spray.
- A hypertonic solution based on glycerol, water, honey and extracts of vine and black elderberry, without essential oils or alcohol. It decongests the mucous membranes and acts as a barrier to infectious and irritant agents while soothing the throat. The product is sprayed on the tongue and then swallowed so that it lines the oral cavity well.
- From the age of 16 to calm sore throats and pain sensations when swallowing, whatever their origin. Suitable for pregnancy or breastfeeding.
The pharmacist’s opinion: an original and relevant throat spray: the hypertonic solution helps to eliminate secretions and infectious agents.
Throat-Larynx Syrup Olioseptil
- Ineldea Laboratories.
- Between 8 and 10 € the bottle of 125 ml.
- Soothes sore throats and clears the respiratory tract thanks to plant extracts (mallow, thyme …) and essential oils (eucalyptus and Scots pine). An echinacea extract completes the antimicrobial action and stimulates the defenses. It contains honey and an extract of propolis.
- Store in the refrigerator after opening. From 7 years old, in case of sore throat associated with a cold. No use in case of pregnancy, history of convulsion or allergy to bee products.
The pharmacist’s opinion: good but provides a significant sugar level.
Beware of drug allergies. In December 2019, the National Medicines Agency (Ansm) indeed recalled that some over-the-counter alpha-amylase drugs (like Maxilase syrup) could be at the origin of “skin damage (urticaria, itching, etc.) but also very rarely serious allergic effects, which can be manifested by a drop in blood pressure, breathing difficulties alone or associated with a swelling of the face (anaphylactic shock) “.